Random Encounters
The Shadow Glade
By Jesse Decker

Adepts of the Shadow Glade

In the heart of the Shadow Glade, a small cabal of shadar-kai wizards seek to bring yet more of the forest and its denizens under their sway. As the characters near the center of the glade, the wizards send more scouts and shadow creatures against them. At least six powerful wizards inhabit the center of glade, although it is up to you to determine how many confront the characters should they attempt to enter the area.

Although they are evil, the shadar-kai realize that the ritual that they have used to create the Shadow Glade is not powerful enough to encompass an area much bigger than the one that they already dominate. If the characters are careful and make contact with the shadar-kai before killing large numbers of the scouts or shadow creatures, the shadow fey might be willing to interact peacefully with neighboring communities.

Shadow Glade Arcanist: Male shadar-kai Wizard 10; CR 11; Medium fey (extraplanar); HD 3d6+3 plus 10d4+10; hp 48; Init +9; Spd 30 ft.; AC 19, touch 17, flat-footed 14; Base Atk +6; Grp +6; Atk +12 melee (2d4+1, +1 spiked chain); Fuill Atk +12/+7 melee (2d4+1, +1 spiked chain); SA sneak attack +1d6; SQ hide in plain sight, shadow curse, summon familiar, superior low-light vision, wild empathy; AL NE; SV Fort +10, Ref +18, Will +16; Str 10, Dex 20, Con 13, Int 20, Wis 12, Cha 8.

Skills and Feats: Balance +11, Concentration +17, Hide +11, Knowledge (arcana) +15, Knowledge (nature) +12, Knowledge (the planes) +15, Listen +9, Move Silently +11, Search +11, Spellcraft +21, Spot +9, Survival +7; Alertness, Empower Spell, Exotic Weapon Proficiency (spiked chain), Greater Spell Penetration, Improved Initiative, Scribe Scroll, Silent Spell, Spell Penetration, Weapon Finesse.

Hide in Plain Sight (Su): A shadow glade scout can use the Hide skill even while being observed. As long as he is not illuminated by natural daylight, the daylight spell, or a similar magical light, he can hide himself from view in the open without having anything to actually hide behind.

Shadow Curse (Su): While within the limits of the Shadow Glade, a shadow glade arcanist does not suffer the effects of the shadow curse. See the Fiend Folio for more information on the shadow curse.

Summon Familiar: The shadow glade arcanist can summon an owl familiar. Such familiars typically scout the forest around the Glade of Shadows, but they do not take part in combat.

Superior Low-Light Vision (Ex): A shadow glade arcanist has extraordinary vision in low-light conditions. He can see four times as far as a human in low-light conditions.

Wizard Spells Prepared (4/6/5/4/4/3; save DC 15 + spell level): 0 -- dancing lights, detect magic, ghost sound, mage hand; 1st -- disguise self, mage armor, magic missile (2), ray of enfeeblement, shield; 2nd -- cat's grace, invisibility, scorching ray, spider climb, web; 3rd -- dispel magic, fly, lightning bolt (2); 4th -- charm monster, Evard's black tentacles, greater invisibility, summon monster IV; 5th -- cloudkill, dominate person, teleport.

Spellbook: 0 -- acid splash, arcane mark, dancing lights, daze, detect magic, detect poison, disrupt undead, flare, ghost sound, light, mage hand, mending, open/close, prestidigitation, ray of frost, read magic, resistance, touch of fatigue; 1st -- alarm, disguise self, identify, mage armor, magic missile, ray of enfeeblement, shield; 2nd -- cat's grace, invisibility, knock, scorching ray, spider climb, web, whispering wind; 3rd -- dispel magic, fly, hold person, lightning bolt, phantom steed; 4th -- animate dead, charm monster, Evard's black tentacles, greater invisibility, summon monster IV; 5th -- cloudkill, dominate person, Mordenkainen's private sanctum, teleport.

Skills: *Shadar-kai have a +10 racial bonus on Hide checks made in dark or shadowy conditions (anything other than daylight or the area of a daylight spell).

Possessions: +1 spiked chain, potions of cure moderate wounds (2), ring of protection +2, wand of magic missiles (5th level, 50 charges), amulet of natural armor +2, circlet of Intelligence +2, cloak of resistance +4, elemental gem (earth), 75 gp.

Notes: One of the arcanists casts Mordenainen's private sanctum on the heart of the glade each day and therefore has one less 5th-level spell available.

Introducing the Shadar-Kai to Your Campaign

The shadar-kai make interesting recurring antagonists or even allies for your players. They have a unique agenda (dealing with the shadow curse) and see much of the civilized world as rightfully theirs. However, they can also make interesting and even dangerous allies, and they might even help the characters travel quickly through the Plane of Shadow if they can be convinced that it is worth their while to do so. Here are some other ideas for incorporating the shadar-kai into your game, even if you don't include the Shadow Glade.

  • The shadar-kai seek to question the characters about a former adventure because they have reason to believe that the characters might have unwittingly uncovered information that might help lift the shadow curse.

  • A powerful shadar-kai spellcaster has given up the fight against the pull of the Plane of Shadow, and she wishes to hire the adventurers to accompany her and protect her while she establishes a home on the dark plane.

  • Another powerful evil race, such as the drow, mind flayers, or even a large tribe of humanoids, threatens the shadar-kai. The shadow fey, seeking to pit foes against each other, trick this other race into believing that the characters or the members of a community to which the characters are attached have been raiding them. As the conflict escalates, the shadar-kai either approach the characters as potential allies or attempt to deepen the deception by offering both sides valuable information about the plans of the other.

Bringing the Parts Together

The four parts of the Shadow Glade can be used as a series of sequential encounters, allowing the players to meet increasingly dangerous foes as they travel from the fringes of the forest to the heart of the Shadow Glade. A more interesting approach, however, might be to allow the characters to skirt the edges of the forest while undertaking other adventures, encountering a few of the shadar-kai scouts, and then much later running into more dangerous shadow creatures before they even learn that the two are linked. From there, rumors of the dangers of the glade might grow, prompting the adventurers to investigate.

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